Height: 12-16 in
Weight: 40-50 lbs
Life Span: 7-10 yrs
Coloring: Brindle, white, red, fawn, piebald; single, bi, and tricolors are acceptable
Area of Origin: United Kingdom
Similar Breeds: Pitbull, Boxer, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Pug, French Bulldog
History and Origin:
The exact origins of the English Bulldog are debated still today. They are basically three schools of thought on the subject. Some believe that the English Bulldog was the original breed that help develop other breeds such as the Mastiff and it’s descendents. Others argue that today’s English Bulldog was developed as a result of crossbreeding between the large Molosser dogs of the 17th century and the smaller Pug. Finally some others believe that both the Molosser dogs and the Bulldog were developed from a common ancestor, the Alaunt, a now extinct ancient breed that existed in Europe and Asia until the 17th century.
Regardless of their ancestry, the Bulldog was bred to be a fighting dog in the 16th-18th centuries and aggression, strength, and fearlessness were highly valued traits which were bred into the dogs. Early Bulldogs were commonly used in the sport of Bull-Baiting, a barbaric exhibition in which a Bull was tied to a post and attacked by dogs for sport. Thankfully, this practice was banned in Britain when the “Cruelty to Animals” act was passed in 1835.
Since the late 1800’s the Bulldog breed was kept alive after it’s fighting days by lovers of the breed who desired to have it’s vicious characteristics minimized within the breed. This was achieved through cross breeding with the Pug to achieve a smaller bodied, mild tempered specimen that has become today’s English Bulldog. Loved for it’s affectionate personality and short, compact body, the English Bulldog has become one of the most loved breeds in the world.
Personality and Temperament:
Today’s English Bulldog is one of the most mild mannered breeds of dog recognized today. However, they do make great guard dogs in addition to being fantastic with children and a great family pet. In fact, the English Bulldog prefers humans to other dogs and is sometimes said to act like just another member of the family. Their dominant personalities can lead to difficulty if not trained by a strong leader who is willing to be firm and direct in training. The English Bulldog would be a challenge for a timid or first time dog owner, and it is recommended that you have some dog experience before trying tor raise an English Bulldog.
Exercise & Training:
The English Bulldog isn’t as active as most other breeds and is often content lounging around the house or laying next to it’s owner on the couch. However, it is important to exercise them every day to avoid excess weight gain and lazy habit forming. Keep in mind that because of their short nose, the English Bulldog can’t cool itself as quickly as other dogs and you must avoid overheating them. Exercise during cooler times of the day, breaks in the shade, or dampening with water are a few ways to help avoid overheating during the hot summer months.
The English Bulldog makes a great apartment dog and doesn’t require a large yard like many other breeds. Still, be mindful that the breed is less active indoors and will still need to be taken outside for exercise every day.
Training an English Bulldog is not difficult, but they can be stubborn, so consistency is crucial. Strong confident leadership will keep the Bulldog in line. They are not known for performing well and only a few basic tricks can be expected to be learned and performed with any consistency.
English Bulldogs posses a very short coat and are considered an average shedder, needing a good brushing only a few times a week to remove dead hair. Bathe only when visually dirty, but wipe in between any folds every few days to avoid any excess dirt build up which can lead to infections and other skin problems if left uncleaned.
A progenitor of the bully- type breeds of today, the English Bulldog has had a crucial role in the development of the Pitbull-type breeds (American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull Terrier, American Bulldog). It has also influenced the Boxer, the Bull Terrier, and the Boston Terrier, and is the descendent of a now-extinct Old English Bulldog and Pug hybrid.
Interesting Facts about the English Bulldog:
1. The Bulldog is the 6th most popular breed of dog in the USA, according the the American Kennel Club.
2. Because they are born with such large heads, four out of five English Bulldogs are delivered via caesarean section.
3. English Bulldogs are a favorite breed amongst celebrities; Adam Sandler, Pink, Olivia Wilde, Reece Witherspoon, and Brad Pitt have all owned the breed.